lincoln
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Anyone Have/own/drive A BMW Z4?

Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:28 am

Just out of curiosity -- any A.netters have any experience with the BMW Z4 roadster?

http://images.google.com/images?q=BMW%20Z4

I fell in love with this specimine vehicle the first time I saw it about 3 years ago -- I love the way it looks, and I love the way I feel when I've sat in it (I feel like am becomming part of the car). It is in my most humble of opinions one of the best looking vehicles on the road at an almost-reasonable price point. (Yes, for me it is all more-or-less about looks, performance isn't a big driver though the numbers look promising)

I haven't actually had one on the road yet, and I'm hesitant to take one on a test drive because (a) car sales guys make me nervous and (b) I'm afraid if I get that close to buying one I'll be impulsive -- and I really don't want to be impulsive with a $40,000 purchase

The time to consider replacing or suplimenting my current vehicle and before I get too excited I was wondering if there was anyone willing to share their opinion -- or if you happen to be in Northeast Ohio, perhaps meeting in person.

Lincoln
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Kay
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RE: Anyone Have/own/drive A BMW Z4?

Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:06 pm

Quoting Lincoln (Thread starter):
$40,000 purchase

Eventhough you mentioned that performance is not premordial, you're hopefully talking about the 3.0Si (40,000$). The Z4 was a serious candidate back when I was looking for a fun car that wasn't mind-blowingly expensive. I dismissed it because it was too small. But I can tell you the following bulletpoints:

- Very light car, the smaller engine models very economic
- But the 3.0Si is a fabulous drive because the car is light, lower-powered models miss out
- The car is a bit basic
- Very rough ride with the bigger wheels and sports suspension
- The sports seats are incredibly hard, eventhough they look great
- It is a serious sports car in the way it handles, it can make serious lap times, nothing to do with the Z3
- The interior dashboard was a very big let down for me, i can't get over it's ugliness (others say it's the car's best thing)
- The steering rack has revealed problems in hot countries. The steering is supposed to become heavier with speed, it would stick to the heavy mode on all speeds in high temperatures.
- The quality of the finish is better after 2005.


Kay
 
gordonsmall
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RE: Anyone Have/own/drive A BMW Z4?

Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:21 pm

It's a horrible car to drive. Completely lacking in any feeling or soul, way too clinical to be called "fun".

Yes, it's a fairly quick car (though nothing special, most sports saloons will give it a run for it's money on the open road) and it looks the part, but it depreciates quicker than a yank in Iraq and it eats tires like they're going out of fashion.

I managed to get through a set of Yokohama ES100's in less than 800 miles, whereas most other cars will give 1500-1800 miles out of a set in similar driving conditions (fast-paced demonstration drives).

However, it's one of the most comfortable cars I've ever driven. I spent almost 12 hours behind the wheel and even though I was working flat-out to show off what the car could do I could have spent another 12 hours in it without feeling the usual pains from driving.

The brake pre-tensioning system is great when you're simply pottering along, but when you're giving the car a bit of a boot-full it tends to cut in too early and makes you nervous about what the car is going to do, same deal with the brake drying system which can unsettle the car in quite a vicious way when you least want it to.
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Kay
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RE: Anyone Have/own/drive A BMW Z4?

Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:53 pm

Quoting Gordonsmall (Reply 2):
However, it's one of the most comfortable cars I've ever driven.

Sounds like the one you drove didn't have the 18 or 19 inch wheels, nor the sports suspension, neither the sports seats (although these, depending on the person, can be more comfortable than normal seats).

Kay
 
N1120A
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RE: Anyone Have/own/drive A BMW Z4?

Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:03 pm

Quoting Kay (Reply 3):
, neither the sports seats (although these, depending on the person, can be more comfortable than normal seats).

BMW sport seats are more comfortable than their normal ones, and that is saying something for the car maker with the best seats.

I am a huge Land Shark (Z4) fan and really liked her predecessor, the Z3, as well. The amazing thing is that the Z3 handles so well despite using a rear suspension that dates to the early 1980s. I would not mind one bit grabbing up the M version of the car.
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flight152
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RE: Anyone Have/own/drive A BMW Z4?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:34 am

Quoting Gordonsmall (Reply 2):
It's a horrible car to drive. Completely lacking in any feeling or soul, way too clinical to be called "fun".

Huh? This is one of the most fun cars I have ever driven, give me one of these with a 6-speed, a nice sunny day and i'm a happy guy. Sure it may not be as pure as the new Boxter, but saying it's a 'horrible car to drive' is just inaccurate.
 
AC773
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RE: Anyone Have/own/drive A BMW Z4?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:38 am

Quoting Gordonsmall (Reply 2):
It's a horrible car to drive. Completely lacking in any feeling or soul, way too clinical to be called "fun".



Quoting Flight152 (Reply 5):
This is one of the most fun cars I have ever driven, give me one of these with a 6-speed

You're both right. I wanted to test-drive one once, and the only one they had on the lot was an automatic. It was a sluggish, awful mess; but it was all the transmission's fault. Manuals are just more fun (and better) in any car, but it really transforms the Z4 into something quite nice.
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foppishbum
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RE: Anyone Have/own/drive A BMW Z4?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:40 am

It depends on what you need in a car, buddy. I've driven my friend's Z4 before and it IS a very fun car to drive around town. HOWEVER, if you're looking for long-term dependable car to drive, then German cars are not good candidates. There is a general rule for BMW and Mercedes-Benz, once the car passes 65,000 miles, you should probably trade it in for another one. I have a 1999 CLK320 and it's at 75,000 miles right now, my passenger window's regulator is broken and the fog lights are not working properly. Up until now, I've spent about 2000 in repairs for this car  Sad.



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foppish bum
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lincoln
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RE: Anyone Have/own/drive A BMW Z4?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:46 am

Thanks for all of the replies! I appreciate the insight, and I'm glad to hear that the majority of the feedback seems positive. I've been lusting after one since '04-ish and I don't know what I would have done if everyone said it was a peice of ----  Smile

Quoting Kay (Reply 1):
The interior dashboard was a very big let down for me, i can't get over it's ugliness (others say it's the car's best thing)

I would tend to agree with you... I don't mind it (at least sitting in a stationary vehicle -- again I've never been in one with the engine running let alone on the road), but it does kind of seem like a quick after-thought.

Then again, one of my favorite features is the "duck's butt" which is another one of those "some people love it / some people can't stand it" things...

Quoting Kay (Reply 1):
The quality of the finish is better after 2005.

Hmm... That's good to keep in mind; I am considering used -- before I was thinking 2004 or newer (there are some things I don't like about the '03s), maybe I'll move that up another year.

Quoting Gordonsmall (Reply 2):
depreciates quicker than a yank in Iraq

I wonder of this is more of a regional thing -- although it's been a while since I seriously researched pricing information here in the US it seem to hold it's value as well as if not slightly better than most of the other benchmarks I was looking at.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 4):
I am a huge Land Shark (Z4) fan and really liked her predecessor, the Z3, as well.

That's the funny thing, I was never really a fan of the Z3 -- it gets points in the "unique looks" category, but something about it's roundness never made me want to own one (same thing with the Boxter). The Z4 by comparison practically screams out "buy meeeeeee....own meeeeee..." (And yes, I have had some 'near misses' as a result of admiring a Z4 that I noticed ahead of me or in my rearview mirror -- I think I may have a problem).

Quoting Foppishbum (Reply 7):
It depends on what you need in a car, buddy. I've driven my friend's Z4 before and it IS a very fun car to drive around town. HOWEVER, if you're looking for long-term dependable car to drive

That's one of the reasons I think now may be the right time -- I'm 23 (in another month), making good money with a stable job, I don't have a girlfriend/wife/kids to worry about transporting, I average about 3 bags of groceries every two weeks and the only tools I bring with me when I do take my car to a project site is my laptop and an equipment case about the size of a bag of golf clubs (and the Z4 brochure proudly proclaims that the trunk is spacious enough for two of those) -- I figure I'll get the car, hang on to it for a few years, then as my needs become more practical transition into a 3- or 5-series...or perhaps a non-BMW model)

(The 3-series has a good track record in my extended family and I really enjoy driving it; my Dad keeps pushing the [and just bought a] 545)

Thanks again for the replies!

Lincoln
[For the record, I take my first name from my dad's mom's maiden name -- suposedly a distant relative of the former-president, not the American car make]
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N1120A
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RE: Anyone Have/own/drive A BMW Z4?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:18 am

Quoting Foppishbum (Reply 7):
if you're looking for long-term dependable car to drive, then German cars are not good candidates. There is a general rule for BMW and Mercedes-Benz, once the car passes 65,000 miles, you should probably trade it in for another one.

What the hell are you talking about? My mother's 560SEC had 214,000 miles when we finally yanked it away from her for a 2000 SL500 Sport, which now has over 65K and runs like a champ and has no issues. Meanwhile, my M3 has nearly 115,000 miles, runs better than new and has only ever required one clutch, brakes and tires. Prior to that, I have a 535i that had 249,000 miles when a 1970 Chevy truck rearended me so fast that the driveshaft broke (but I was fine). Someone actually fixed that car and it is still going at over 300K. German cars, especially Mercedes and BMW, are dead on reliable.

Quoting Foppishbum (Reply 7):
Up until now, I've spent about 2000 in repairs for this car

On what?

Quoting Foppishbum (Reply 7):
my passenger window's regulator is broken and the fog lights are not working properly.

Those are cosmetic issues, not issues with true reliability.
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flight152
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RE: Anyone Have/own/drive A BMW Z4?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:43 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
What the hell are you talking about?

I agree. I've had 2 3-Series in the past 4 years with little maintnance. The first one was a 1996 328i and currently a 2000 328i; these cars have held up very well.
 
Kay
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RE: Anyone Have/own/drive A BMW Z4?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 5:36 pm

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 8):
The Z4 by comparison practically screams out "buy meeeeeee....own meeeeee..."

It sounds like you really like the Z4, what are you still doing without one?? Just go right now and buy one, it's great that a car you really love exists out there (and that you can afford it), I know I am having a problem with only that.

Regarding the quality of the finish, it's the facelift (end of 2005) that provided these improvements. Whatever you think of the exterior facelift changes, some details of the interior are noticeably better. Hopefully you can afford one. And I strongly advise to buy the most powerful engine you can afford.

Kay
 
lincoln
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RE: Anyone Have/own/drive A BMW Z4?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:41 am

Quoting Kay (Reply 11):
It sounds like you really like the Z4, what are you still doing without one?? Just go right now and buy one, it's great that a car you really love exists out there (and that you can afford it), I know I am having a problem with only that

I'm just kind of hesitant to make that large a purchase without really having experience with it -- It's also right around the threashold of what I can afford (I could actually pay 100% cash today but it would be a significant drain on my savings) especially since I am considering purchasing a home (though the more I think about that the less I want to do it -- I like my appartment far better than any of the homes/condos I've seen)

I've seen to many products that look beautiful and sound fantastic until you start looking under the hood, and I don't want to be bit on such a major purchase. Reading the replies here, though, and what I've gleaned from stopping random Z4 drivers in parking lots there's not a whole lot to worry about

My boss and I are going to a tradeshow in LA in about 2 months and he's talking about letting me rent a Z4 on the company's dime so that may be enough to settle it -- it's also right around the time of my annual review which I think should go well, since I've taken on significant additional responsibility (and won some big contracts) in the past year.

Thanks again!  Smile

Lincoln
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CaptOveur
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RE: Anyone Have/own/drive A BMW Z4?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 10:27 am

Someone has to say it.. Are you getting the one with the interior by KIA?
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lincoln
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RE: Anyone Have/own/drive A BMW Z4?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:40 am

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 13):
Someone has to say it.. Are you getting the one with the interior by KIA?

I'm sorry I'm missing the reference...

In all seriousness I don't see KIA on the supplier list http://www.bmwusfactory.com/media_ce...media_info/Suppliers/Suppliers.pdf  Smile

Lincoln
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USAFHummer
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RE: Anyone Have/own/drive A BMW Z4?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:43 am

[quote=Lincoln,reply=14]User currently onlineLincoln From United States, joined Nov 2004[/quote

Yea, the KIA joke is kind of part of a.net lore, and I think it definitely pre-dates your time on a.net...that whole thing mustve taken place around 2001 or 2002?
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foppishbum
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RE: Anyone Have/own/drive A BMW Z4?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:47 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
What the hell are you talking about? My mother's 560SEC had 214,000 miles when we finally yanked it away from her for a 2000 SL500 Sport, which now has over 65K and runs like a champ and has no issues. Meanwhile, my M3 has nearly 115,000 miles, runs better than new and has only ever required one clutch, brakes and tires. Prior to that, I have a 535i that had 249,000 miles when a 1970 Chevy truck rearended me so fast that the driveshaft broke (but I was fine). Someone actually fixed that car and it is still going at over 300K. German cars, especially Mercedes and BMW, are dead on reliable.



Quoting Flight152 (Reply 10):
I agree. I've had 2 3-Series in the past 4 years with little maintnance. The first one was a 1996 328i and currently a 2000 328i; these cars have held up very well.

Well, I guess my family, my friends, and I just have very extremely bad lucks with German cars then. My sister's 328i transmission died after 80,000 miles and her new generation 328i is having problems with the engine too. The new one is barely 10,000 miles. My aunt's E320 pessenger door is not opening. The computer system is wacked up because it's detecting problems with the engine falsely. It causes the E320 to travel at a safe speed of 15MPH and won't provide power to wheels. My dad's S500 has been in the dealership more times than our Lexus GS300 (which is about 8 years older than the S500). My CLK's window regulator is not working properly so now my window can't open nor close. The engine does not change gear properly and is often jerky when change gear automatically. I've changed the fog lights (the whole set) twice now and they're still not working properly.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
Those are cosmetic issues, not issues with true reliability.

True that $2,000 spent on the car include the "cosmetic" issues. However, I personally am not willing to drive a car that its window regulator would break that easily and have whistling sounds while driving on a highway. I also don't feel comfortable when I sit in my aunt's E320 and can't open the door. As for my dad's S500, it's been in the dealership / auto body shop longer than the time I've sat in it.


True those issues are not related to performance of the car, but I still would rather buy a Japanese car such as Lexus, Acura, Honda, or Toyota for their comfort, luxury, and reliability. That way I know I don't have to fix my air condition two or more times, change the whole set of my fog lamps, or change my transmission after 100,000 miles, etc. Anyway, I'm not here to bash German cars. Their performances are great, the cars are very powerful. But when it comes to comfort, luxury, and the accessory...German cars are not comparable to Japanese cars (at least in MY opinion). To be honest, I would rather buy a Lexus LS460 than a S550. I have finally decided to trade in my CLK and get a Lexus GS430.

Again, German cars performances are great but long-term reliability...I personally like Japanese cars.



Cheers,
foppish bum
Taiwanese-American :D

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